x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

‘We are soldiers of the nation’ – Past winners of Abu Dhabi Awards for Excellence in Government Performance awards tell of their pride

Previous winners of the Abu Dhabi Awards for Excellence in Government Performance say it makes everyone want to provide better Government services.

Thabit Al Abdessalaam, a senior adviser in biodiversity at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, who won an excellence award for his work in the technical field in 2009. Pawan Singh / The National
Thabit Al Abdessalaam, a senior adviser in biodiversity at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, who won an excellence award for his work in the technical field in 2009. Pawan Singh / The National

Abu Dhabi // Excitement is building in the run-up to the Abu Dhabi Awards for Excellence in Government Performance, with past winners praising the event as an example of how the leadership is striving to offer the best services for residents.

One of the biggest winners at the 2009 ceremony was Abu Dhabi Police, which received several accolades including Excellent Government Entity.

Brig Gen Hussian Al Harethi, director of the traffic and patrols directorate, won an individual award for Excellent Government Employee in the Management Field.

Is he hopeful of securing a prize again?

“Fingers crossed,” he said. “Abu Dhabi Police has the world’s best practices in place, so we hope to get one this year, too.”

There will be 24 awards across three categories this year – government entities, teamwork and distinguished projects, and the President of the Executive Council’s Medal.

“This is a unique competition among government entities and individuals for excellence in services to residents, and innovative initiatives for customers,” Brig Al Harethi said.

The awards are designed to instil the principles of excellence in public service, to help place Abu Dhabi among the top five governments in the world.

“I appreciate the Rulers because always they strive to render best services to the community,” Brig Al Harethi said.

“A team of experts from across the world inspects all aspects to reward this. This is a big honour.”

Among those in the running to be honoured this year are media cluster twofour54, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Media, publisher of The National.

Thabit Al Abdessalaam, a senior adviser in biodiversity at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, won an individual award for Excellent Government Employee in the Technical Field in 2009.

“We all are winners and this is a win-win situation because if you do not win as an organisation, you still strive to improve,” he said.

“Due to the awards and honours, all the government entities care about the qualities of employees and the quality of work.

“While competing it gives a message and feeling that we all are trying to do better for society.”

The awards launched in 2007 with 22 government bodies competing, and the event has gone from strength to strength.

Two years later the number of entrants increased to 35, and this year, the third staging of the awards, there were 751 entries from 48 government entities.

Roudha Al Saadi, an engineer, won two individual awards in 2009 for her work at Al Ain Municipality.

A manager of the services coordination department at the time, she was the only woman to win that year.

“This is the highest award and winning it means that we are on the right path,” she said. “I always try to maintain the confidence of the award by gaining achievements. And this is how: we try to answer a very simple part of the religion of this generous nation.

“I love my speciality and I feel that the place contains what ideas I offer. However, I imagine myself anywhere to serve this dear country. We are soldiers of the nation.”

The winners will be announced during a ceremony at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Monday.

The awards are held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

anwar@thenational.ae